Trump calls for arming teachers at NRA convention
Former President Donald Trump vowed to defend gun-owners rights in a speech at the National Rifle Association Convention Friday, pledging to create a new tax credit to reimburse teachers “for the full cost of a concealed-carry firearm.” (April 14)
Louisiana adults will have to wait at least another year to be able to carry concealed weapons without a permit or training after Republican Oil City Rep. Danny McCormick pulled his bill rather than have it amended Tuesday.
Republican Sen. Gary Smith and Democratic Sen. Jay Luneau were proposing amendments during a Senate Revenue and Fiscal Committee hearing that would have added training requirements and mandatory presentation of valid state IDs to police if requested, which McCormick opposed.
“My supporters wouldn’t want any required training or government lists their names would go on,” said McCormick, who instead asked that he be allowed to voluntarily defer his bill with only two days left in the Legislative Session.
McCormick’s bill already had been amended at his opposition once to raise the age to 21 to concealed carry rather than McCormick’s preference of 18.
McCormick said his bill would “restore Second Amendment rights in Louisiana.”
“There’s nothing more unjust that to make citizens pay for a right they already have,” he said Tuesday.
Supporters of McCormick’s legislation refer to it as “constitutional carry” because they believe the Second Amendment already grants that right.
“It puts law-abiding citizens on equal footing with criminals,” said Kelby Seanor of the National Rifle Association in a previous hearing. “It removes the burden to exercise a constitutional right.”
But opponents, like those testifying from Moms Demand Action and the Louisiana Chiefs of Police, said concealed carry without the training and permits required now make the streets more dangerous for citizens and police.
Fabian Blache with the Louisiana Chiefs of Police called the bill “ill-conceived,” and said it “would pose a danger for the community and police officers.”
Louisiana is already an “open carry” state, which means people can carry visible firearms without a permit or training.
Twenty-seven states already permit a form of concealed carry, including all of Louisiana’s neighbors.
“We should trust people with their rights,” McCormick has said.
It was the fourth time McCormick has carried the measure, which cleared the House easily last year before it stalled in the Senate in the aftermath of the Uvalde, Texas, school shooting where a gunman killed 19 children and two adults.
McCormick said the bill is particularly important to him because he wants his four granddaughters ages 10, 2 and twin 6-year-olds to be able to protect themselves as adults.
McCormick posted a video of himself and one of his 6-year-old granddaughters on his Facebook page featuring the AR-15 she used to kill her first deer in November.
“She used an AR-15, which my anti-gun people like to call assault weapons, but as you can see (she) uses it to hunt with,” McCormick said in the video. “We’re so proud of her.”
Lawmakers passed a concealed carry bill in 2021 that was nearly identical to McCormick’s legislation, but Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards vetoed the measure.
Edwards generally has been a reliable vote for gun rights expansion bills, but he said he believes the current law requiring in-person training and a permit “strikes the right balance.”
Greg Hilburn covers state politics for the USA TODAY Network of Louisiana. Follow him on Twitter @GregHilburn1.